Save the date, but feast to mark the end of the wage gap between men and women in 2235

It promises to be the most popular party in the city; a huge bash from Trafalgar Square to celebrate the end of the gender pay gap.

But there is only one catch. Guests are asked to save the date – in 2235, the year the World Economic Forum said that the gap will be closed, given the current rate of change.

Labor MP Stella Creasy said that the party she organized and which will be organized by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has a serious message.

"Shedding light on a problem does not necessarily mean anything," she said. "The government has no explicit commitment to act on the causes of this gap and we want to change that – enough talk about the pay gap – it's time to take action to end it."

The invitations went out because research that was conducted on the occasion of Equal Pay Day on Saturday revealed that new reporting rules for pay differences between men and women had not eliminated the inequalities in the workplace. Equal Pay Day is the day of the year when the average female employee is no longer paid as a result of the pay gap between women and men.

Creasy called on the government to reintroduce the explicit obligation to introduce public service inequalities, which is only necessary to "take sufficient account" of the need to promote equality.

The Fawcett Society marked the day for equal pay and announced that it would launch legal advice for low-income women to combat wage discrimination. The campaign is in collaboration with the employment law charity YESS Law and is supported by a donation from former BBC correspondent Carrie Gracie.

It also revealed research showing that frank discussions about pay are still rare, with six out of ten (61%) employees saying they feel uncomfortable by asking a colleague how much they earn, while 52% said their managers would negatively respond to more transparency. . One in three of the employees surveyed did not know that it is illegal to pay women and men differently for the same work.

"Reward discrimination can thrive and is more common than people realize because of a culture of wage secrecy that persists," said Fawcett CEO Sam Smethers. "People do not know their basic rights and do not know what their colleagues deserve."

Research from the Young Women & # 39; s Trust on the occasion of the day showed that one in five young women said that they had paid less than a male colleague for the same or similar work, but less than half were convinced that they could challenge their employer about the pay gap between men and women. According to the charity, one in ten HR decision-makers in organizations with more than 250 employees is aware of the fact that women are paid less in their organization than men for jobs at the same level.

"Young Women & # 39; s Trust research shows that young female students earn eight percent less than their male counterparts, making them worse than £ 1,000 a year," said chief executive of the trust, Dr. Carole Easton. "The sectors where women have a tendency to work – such as administration, healthcare and social care and retail – are not valued and paid as they should be."

One of the factors influencing the UK pay gap between men and women is that women are more likely to be in low-paid jobs and sectors, said Tess Lanning, director of the Living Wage Foundation.

According to figures from Office for National Statistics, 3.8 million, or 28%, of all jobs with women are paid by women under the real living wage, compared with 18% for men. The biggest difference is in the East Midlands, where 34% of women are paid under the living wages in comparison with 20% of men.

"Millions of women are stuck in jobs that are lower than real living wages, especially in administrative, cleaning and care functions," Lanning said. "Plans to improve equality between men and women must lead to more companies engaging themselves to pay a real living wage, not just the government minimum."

On Friday, the Women & # 39; s Equality Party encouraged working women to send Out of Office messages on the occasion of Equal Pay Day.

"Women are rightly fed up with the lack of progress," said Catherine Mayer, president of the Women's Equality Party. "Forcing companies to publish data on their pay differentials between men and women is a waste of time if they do not take action to close it."

However, there were some glimpses of optimism. A small sample of law firm GQ Littler pointed out that 39% of companies reviewed their recruitment procedures in an effort to close the gender pay gap, while 26% carried out pay audits and 21% had changed their pay policy. A study for Totaljobs showed that 46% of organizations that take measures to reduce the pay gap between women and men actively stimulate women in higher positions.

Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics revealed that the total pay gap between men and women dropped by half a percent from 18.4% to 17.9% and the full-time pay gap fell from 9.1% in 2017 to 8.6 % in April 2018.

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